Friday, August 16, 2019

Simple and Sweet #UseYourWords

Welcome to August's Use Your Words writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
hardwood ~ monster ~ VCR ~ bicycle ~ boys ~ motorcycle

They were submitted by: (Thank you for the magnificent words!!)

I am going to keep today's post, as short and sweet as possible. By no means due to the words not inspiring me, but possibly because they inspire me so much. If I wrote everything these words brought to mind, I would probably spend hours at my computer crying, and not all sad tears. 

The very first vision I saw in my mind, when I read these words, were my cousins and I running along the hardwood, wrap around porch, at my Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie's house. The boys would chase the girls. The girls would chase the boys. We would all take turns sitting on Uncle Ricky's motorcycle, while everyone else made sure no adults were coming. We would play monster games, cops and robbers games, tag, taking turns riding on the bicycles, hide and go seek, and just plain had fun. 

We are all growing older and memories fade, and things change, and people go away, and others pass on. Life changes. Journeys take us elsewhere. I think it is beautiful, that in our minds, we can revisit days long gone. Memories nearly forgotten, and just reminisce in their purity. Enjoy the unbridled joy that they bring us.

In so many ways, those were the best days of my life. I was loved. I was safe. I was surrounded by family. I had my Daddy. I had fun. I laughed. People loved me. Of course, my cousins and I did not always show that love, but let someone else mess with any of us, and see what happened. Trust me, we loved each other, no matter how much we annoyed one another.

I really grew up with my second cousins. My dad did not have me until he was forty. By then my first cousins, had kids my age. As was custom, I did not just walk around calling my older adult, first cousins by their name. They were Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. I knew they were my cousins, but there was a respect there, due to the difference in age. I am an adult now, and they are still Uncle Ricky and Aunt Jackie. 

Their kids have kids, and they are growing up, just like we did. Loved, safe, and together. I hope they enjoy these days. Before long they will be gone. People will be gone. Memories will be faded. The important things will be distorted. At least, I know they will never, ever forget the love. I can close my eyes, and still feel it wrap around me. All the love I was shown. That kind of love, it can never be forgotten. 

I wish I had our old VCR, and all the VCR tapes. I would love to spend hours and hours just watching those days. I remember thinking how silly it was to film everything, and now I would give anything to have those tapes. Those visual memories, to sit, and help sharpen my mental memories. Those were the days. We have advanced so much, but those simpler days.... Those were the days. Simple, sweet, perfect.

I wish I could go back, and tell younger me, to really  soak in and enjoy those days. Focus on all the good, because there is SO MUCH good, and let the bad go. I grew up, and I spent years focused on the bad, and looking back now, I see those were not the important parts. It was all the good, that deserved focus and remembering. At least I remember them now. A bit too late, as it had a huge impact on my relationship with my Daddy, and I would love to change that. I would love to redo it, letting all that good, be what had the impact on our relationship, especially in the final years.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:


Friday, August 9, 2019

Reckless Voyage #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to August's Secret Subject Swap. This week eight awesome bloggers submitted a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:
You're shipwrecked or lost somewhere. What three items are your musts?

It was submitted by: (Thank you for such a fun subject!!)

I have never not liked a Secret Subject I have been assigned over the years, based on merit. I think they have all been excellent. Some I have struggled with, because I have difficulty in turning them into a decent blog post, but that is actually the beauty of these challenges we do.... being actually challenged by the prompt/theme/words/picture that is placed upon us, to weave into a post worthy of reading. Over the years, many of these challenges have shown my lack of writing ability, and have highlighted why I do not do this blogging thing, on a more professional level. I still stand firm, that when I say I am a blogger, I feel like a phony, because I know some awesome bloggers, and to be labeled the same as them, just does not seem accurate. 

Every so often I get a prompt, and I may or may not do it justice, but the prompt itself sparks something in my soul, that makes me feel like I am doing exactly what I should be doing. I cannot accurately describe it, so I won't even try. Just know, that when I read this prompt, my soul was on fire with excitement to write about this. 

Any of my friends, mostly those who knew younger me, the me before life sort of beat me down, and turned me into this new me, that is not quite the old me, but is also not quite not the old me, would read this prompt, and probably have a flashback to a conversation with me. I used to love to talk about random topics with friends. I especially loved playing twenty questions, or simply just asking the most random conversation starters ever, and one of my most favorite questions, has always been the stranded on a deserted island question. I almost think it is safe to say, that it was my absolute favorite question.

Over the years, I have answered the question many different ways. As my life changes, as I change, as the world changes, so to does my answer. I think the very first time I ever answered this question, I said something like "My favorite book, a bottle of water, and my walkman", and then my friend gave their answer, and it included survival items. It was in the moment, that I first ever really analyzed the question, and over the years, I have analyzed it so many more times. I do not know how many times I have answered this question, but I am fairly confident that I have never given the same answer twice.

One of the more memorable times I answered, was when my friend and I were just randomly answering questions. He answered first, and his answer was very well thought out. We could have five items, not just three, and his answer included items to help him get rescued, as well as items to help him survive on the island. Now, I like to get under my friend's skin, and I am really good at it, and when he set the guidelines for our answers to the question, he left some loopholes. So, my fifth item was a bottle with my very own genie inside. He nearly lost his mind arguing with me, but in the end, agreed it was not against the rules. That was probably the best answer I have ever given to this question.

Today, as I ponder an answer, I have three things that immediately pop into my mind, but when answering this question, I never give my first thought answers. I give my analyzed answers. So, let's analyze...
If my cell would have service, then definitely that, so I could call for help. However, cell service is never a guarantee, so chances are that would be a wasted item. Though, if I were tech savvy, I could probably use it to create a working communication device, but let's face it, I am clueless. So, I definitely think cell phone is out.

With my OCD being what it is, I need to keep in mind sanitary conditions. It will be hard, but I can do my best. One thing that would definitely be helpful, is a complete pot/pan/utensils/knives set. One like you can by all boxed up. So, I want a boxed up Pioneer woman pot/pan/utensil/knives set. I wanted to go with Rachael Ray, but Ree has beautiful designs, and I think they would cheer me up. So, I definitely want this as one of my three. Having proper cookware, will enable me to keep things sanitary enough, that I do not go insane. Plus, let's face it, I will need all the help I can get in the cooking department. Having cooking materials I am accustomed to, will be a massive help. 

Of course my mind immediately goes to books. Reading will definitely help, and in dire circumstances, they can help keep fires going. However, my soul sort of hurts at the thought of burning books, and I should be able to have plenty of burn material. Plus, if it rains, the books would be destroyed. I have my mind and imagination, and they can handle the entertainment factor, so I would say books are not the best idea.

I also immediately think Chad and Gigi. I would not want to be without them. Logic then kicks in. I will probably struggle just to keep myself safe. Having two more people to worry about, may not  be wise. Plus, if anything ever happened to either of them, it would ruin me. Also, if I am lucky, with them home safe and sound, they will lead efforts to find me, and not give up until they do. So, it is probably best they stay home.

Now, I have never been camping. So this whole experience is going to be difficult on me. One thing that is certain, I need a safe home base. A place where I can be as safe as possible. A place I can lay my head and rest. I think I would be good at building boobie traps around my home base, to alert me of anyone or anything approaching. I just worry I won't be able to build adequate bedding. So, I think it would be wise to have one of the tent kits. They one with the tent, blanket, pillow, and weather proof sheet. This way, I could have a great place to rest and relax. The boobie traps would help protect me while I am asleep. 

So, I have cooking and sleeping/protection from the elements covered. One more thing. One more item that would be best at helping me survive my time on the island. 

Well, the other thing that comes to mind is health. Health is incredibly important. So, I would definitely want a fully stocked first aid kit, enclosed in a large, weather proof container. I want it fully stocked.... Alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, band aids, liquid band aid, splints, medical tapes of all sizes, ace bandages, tweezers, those break and freeze ice packs, those break and warm compresses, Neosporin, Calamine lotion, Tums, Tylenol, my medicines, suture kit, gauze, iodine, Benadryl, my inhalers, burn salve, aloe, sunscreen, etc etc Anything and everything you would want in a first aid kit.

I don't have anything to entertain myself, but hopefully, I will survive.

Now, before anyone comments... Yes, I considered every single type of coffee maker. I just could not figure out a way to work it or make it beneficial. So, here is to hoping withdrawal isn't too terrible.

What would you bring?! Am I dumb for not choosing Matt Damon?! I feel slightly dumb.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring August's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pot #FunnyFriday

Welcome to July’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Spatulas on Parade.
1. I really wonder the story here. 

2. When Susan said, she didn't have a green thumb, she meant it. No flowers, plants, shrubs, or flower pots stood a chance against her. 

3. Let the kids help plant flowers, they said. It will be fun they said. 
4. Brenda was not completely sure, but she thought she'd gotten the spider. Maybe she should get the lighter, just to be certain. 

5. I relate to this flowerpot a lot. 
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Baking In A Tornado   
Southern Belle Charm      
Spatulas on Parade                   
The Bergham Chronicles   
Bookworm in the Kitchen

Friday, July 12, 2019

B to the BBB #UseYourWords

Welcome to July's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
bump ~ burp ~ bury ~ bundle ~ best

They were submitted by: (Brilliant job, Karen!!)

I read my words, and then I read them again, and then once more for good measure. I decided Karen must have been in a bubbly mood, or possibly a bitchy mood, or maybe even just bewildered, when she submitted this months words. Whatever the mood, she definitely have b on her mind. I am not sure why, but my mind instantly went to using all the words in one sentence.

I thought it over, and figured I had done that before, so I needed to do something differently. I thought it might be best, to just give y'all an update, but nothing too exciting has happened. The recent earthquakes, that made cracks in the ground, did not come to our yard. There were no mudslides to bury houses or cars. I may have a bump, but it is not because their is a bundle on the way. I am definitely just fat. Let's face it, none of you, even want to spend a minute, reading about my most recent burp. It was not long, before I was back to the one sentence idea.

So, I switched it up. I sent the words to a few friends. I asked them to use the words in one sentence. I said they could do two sentences, if absolutely necessary, but most importantly, I just needed every word used. I told them it could make sense or no sense at all. I told them it could be funny or serious or weird or anything they wanted it to be. Just to use every word and send their sentence to me. 

I wanted to see what sentences a small group of people would come up with, when given the same group of words to use. So, here are the results....

Me: I do my best to stifle my burp, as I quietly bury my head in my books, trying not to bother anyone, or bump into anyone or thing, as I carry my bundle of books to the checkout counter.

KofKCBundle is the best bump starter in all of BurpBury Land!!!

TRizzo: Today was horrible, I woke up , got out of bed and walked into the bathroom only to bump my hip on the vanity. I wasn't feeling the whole coffee thing so I drank a soda which brought on a humongous burp which woke up my hubby. We both realized my child's bird had died and wrapped it in a bundle of cloth, placed it in a box and took it out to bury it. Our child was so upset, but we told her the bird was very old and it was for the best.

TC: You better not bump into me, and tell me it is best if we bury our noses in books, while you burp and bundle yourself up in self-doubt.

AuntieNR: Careful not to bump an animal while driving, you'll have to bundle it up and bury it. Don't let a burp out, try to be at your best behaviour.

HUZ: With a burp he settled in, doing his best to bury the bundle so not even a bump showed above the turf.

I want to thank Karen, for such a beautiful bounty of words. I also want to thank my friends who played along and helped me out. It truly is interesting, to see the differences and similarities, in what people come up with, when presented with the same group of words. What sentence would you make with these words?

Do not forget to check out the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts! I will meet you there, but first coffee. Today is going to be a long day. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!! 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Monday, July 8, 2019

Me #BlogWithFriends

Welcome to July's Blog with Friends Round-up, a blogging challenge hosted by Karen from Baking in a Tornado. Each month we choose a topic, and then we all create our own unique posts, based on that month's chosen theme. This month we chose "Tell Your Story". Each blogger's post can be anything their heart desires, and their imagination can dream up. It is up to us to interpret the theme any way we like. Posts can include anything from poetry, short stories, craft projects, DIY projects, art projects, and anything in between. The limits are endless, and it gets quite interesting each month. 

When I first heard the topic of Tell Your Story, I immediately thought about writing about my life story, but I am thirty-six, and that would be one long post. Plus, though some of it would be interesting, it would also have some very boring parts. Shortly after I ruled that idea out, I went through something, and I immediately thought I would tell you all the story of that event, and my feelings and opinions about it. The truth is, I was very upset, and I realized the entire post would be me ranting, and I did not want to write a totally negative post. That did lead me to the approach I want to take.

I want to tell you guys things about myself, enabling you all to get to know me a bit better. Some of the things, some of you may already know, but I am also including things that most people do not know. I am not necessarily telling my secrets, but I am just choosing to be open and honest, and tell my story.

1. Of course, I decided to start with the rant that I had originally wanted to create the post with. I have been terrible about updating my Facebook page, since my Daddy died, and I am sorry for that. I do promise you that I am planning on changing that very soon. It was partially due to the depression I was experiencing over losing my dad, and partially because life was hectic. It is funny how having Gigi start school, made life so much busier, when I thought I would have so much more down time. Do not get me wrong, I took plenty of naps during her Kindergarten year, but I also did a lot more than I usually did, and it was a huge adjustment for all of us. 

Towards the end of the year, Gigi was having some health issues, and we were very busy with doctor visits, and just taking days off to help her feel better, that I was stretched thin. Getting her better is still something we are working on. She is seeing an endocrinologist and a Gastroenterology specialist, and we are working on getting her back to pristine health. It was particularly stressful at the very end of her school year, and I was so laser focused on her and her appointments, that I really could not be bothered with anything else. So, when I fell in the shower, and my leg hurt afterward, I decided it was just a fall, and I did not have time to worry about seeing a doctor. It was apparent a few weeks later, that sometimes, you just need to make time for seeing a doctor.

My doctor told me he felt I had most likely torn my ACL, but he wanted to try a few things, before rushing to that conclusion and an MRI. So, I went onto bed rest, no lifting, icing it regularly, and just trying to give it a chance to heal. Something I should have done from the beginning, rather than running around trying to do all the things. It only got worse, and it was really becoming bothersome. So, I made an appointment for when my doctor was back from a short vacation, and just tried to survive. Unfortunately, my knee started bothering me more, and not just pain, but it started popping and giving out. I went to the ER, to try to get some help, but all they wanted to do was shove pain medication into my system, and tell me I had most likely torn something. 

I was frustrated, and told them I had pain medication at home, and what I needed were answers and solutions, not a band aid. I have never begged so hard in my life for answers, but they were adamant, that I was not about to die, I just needed to take pain medication regularly and push through. They said my insurance would use the excuse the an MRI is not an emergency exam, and they would not get paid. Meanwhile, I was barely able to walk, I was in excruciating pain, my leg was swelling, and I was not handling any of it well. Not to mention, I was struggling to not fall, and was becoming quite a danger to myself, and was convinced I was going to fall and break my neck. 

I didn't, thankfully, my neck is still in tact. I did however fall, and firemen and paramedics had to lift me off the ground, and take me to the emergency room. I hurt my knee further, and it became more swollen, but most unfortunately, I also split my hernia open a lot more. They could tell from the CT, that I had made it quite bigger, and would now need intervention. Again, they just wanted to fill me full of pain medication and send me home to cope, until my doctor could get me in for an MRI. 

My hernia became quite the problem, and at one point, I could not get my insides back inside, and ended up back in the ER in a panic. My insides returned to the inside of my body, and they again offered to pump me full of pain medication, and got angry when I declined, and then sent me home. By the next day, after another mini fall and several times of my insides being stubborn about staying inside, I became determined to get my knee fixed. We went to three emergency rooms, and honestly, I hope I never need to be in one again ever. Each one complained about insurance companies being finicky about paying for MRIs, and offered to pump me full of pain medication, and two even lectured and chastised me for not taking my prescribed pain medication much more often. They did not even care that I have valid reasons for not wanting to take them. 

The whole process really ruined my view of the medical system, and caused me to think that the concern over the opioid crisis is fake. If there was such concern, why were they trying to force them down my veins, and why was their anger over my refusal of the medication, and the fact that I do not take my prescribed medication much more often!? I am telling you, I am very heartbroken over this all. In the end, my doctor returned from vacation, and he got me in for an MRI immediately, and told me to talk to the On-Call Doctor next time. I wish I had thought of that.

So, I have a torn Meniscus, and will be seeing the orthopedic specialist on  July 15th, to set up surgery to fix it. Once that is fixed, I will be getting surgery to fix my hernia, and keep my insides on the inside. I am especially excited for that one. I have had this hernia for years, and it really never bothered me much, but since tearing it open more, and my insides now venturing outside frequently, I cannot wait to just get rid of it. 

2. This is random, and probably not very interesting, but it is something that I think is interesting about the last year of my life. Last March, I sat in on a Facebook live with Michelle (Juicebox Confessions) and Madelyn (Under the Momfluence), and they talked about Fresh Apparel for a bit. Michelle had shown off some mugs/cups from Fresh Apparel over the previous months, and I loved them. So, of course I followed the page, and enjoyed looking at all their cute graphic tees. Most fit mom life so perfectly, and just simply life, that I secretly hoped to wear them one day. I never actually tried to order, because I just assumed they would not have bigger sizes, and if they did, they would cost an arm and a leg. Well, during the live, I discovered that the owner of Fresh Apparel (Amanda) works hard to be a very inclusive brand, and she also doesn't overcharge at all. So, I made an order, and I was hooked. The clothes are amazing, the cups and mugs are fabulous, and just everything about the brand is wonderful. I fell in love with the Insiders group (a group that huge fans of the brand hang out and get access to sales first and overall just talk and support one another), and I even applied to be a Brand Rep for a season. I was shocked that I was chosen to be a rep, but honestly, I would spread the word about FA whether I were a rep or not, simply because I genuinely love the brand and the merchandise. So, of course, me putting myself out there and applying to be a brand rep was weird, but there is more.

If you are linked to me on Facebook, or if you have paid attention to my most recent posts on my Facebook page, you may have noticed a change in me. I am more colorful. I wear colorful clothing now. I mean, I even own some tie dye pieces. I know. So. Very. Weird. There is even pink in my closet! I realized a few months back, that Fresh Apparel has brought me way outside my neutral/black/brown/gray/navy/beige comfort zone. Actually, I am sitting in shorts, as I type this. Shorts that I LOVE. Also, I recently bought dresses, and I wear and love them. I know. So incredibly weird. I love it though. I truly do. I love the clothes, they are comfortable, and I actually enjoy the color in my life. So weird how much a person's tastes can change in a year. In fact, I just applied to be a brand rep for another season. They haven't announced the chosen reps yet, but my fingers are crossed. 

Just two side notes... They have frequent sales, that are awesome, and if you even want to order, let me know! I will find the current discount code for you! Also, if you want to join a group of really amazing moms (and a few cool dads), and be in a supportive and fun environment, search for Fresh Apparel Insiders on Facebook, and join the group! 

3. Since my Daddy died in September, I have been taking many trips down memory lane. I have been thinking about things, I had not thought about in years. I was sudden clinging to every memory I could think of. I actually considered starting a Facebook group, for my family and friends, who knew my dad, and just have a place where we could all share memories of him. Mostly because I want to remember as much as I could. I used to imagine that once my Daddy died, I would write a long blog post, venting about him. About all these things I spent years dwelling on, and the moment I found out he was gone, those things were the furthest things from my mind. All of a sudden, I was focused on all the good and funny things, and I realized there was so much goodness. I really stole the last years my dad was alive, away from myself, because we could have been even closer, had I not been so focused on negative things in my head.

Gigi always asks me to tell her things from my childhood, so I am always trying to think of things to tell her, and since September, that has been particularly bittersweet. Recently, I was talking to her about how lucky she is. We really do cater to her, when it comes to her eating, and we do our best to accommodate her likes. She asked why she was so lucky. I told her when I was growing up, I had two options... Eat whatever my dad served me or starve. In reality, it was really only one option, because my Daddy was not a fan of food not getting eaten, so I realized really quickly, the best thing to do was to just eat. Now, I will tell you, that I was lucky. My Daddy made delicious food. He could truly cook so well, and I wish I had inherited that ability. 

Now, recently I told Gigi how sometimes dishes would have weird names. Poop on a shingle or Birds in a nest or brains and eggs, and we giggled at the names. I explained the dishes to her, and then I explained to her, that growing up I would always giggle when my dad would make brains and eggs. I thought it was such a funny name. Once I was older, I discovered it wasn't a silly name, it was an accurate name. It really was brains scrambled with eggs. I think I am still traumatized. I remember it was a delicious meal, and my Dad really enjoyed it, and I just figured it was some funny name he came up with, based on how scrambled eggs look. Since I had no real option, but to eat what he made me, I think it is truly best I did not learn the truth until I was much older. So, now you know the weirdest thing I have ever eaten.

4. If you have kids in your life, or if you pay even just slight attention to what is going on with kids these days, you know that slime is popular. Not just slime, like the little jars of noise putty/slime, we would buy as kids, but making slime. I immediately banned slime from our house, when I heard of the fad. That was that. I hear slime, and I think huge mess. So, that would be a hard pass. Well, Gigi has become obsessed with the lady named Doctor Squish on YouTube. I am very picky about what YouTube she is allowed to watch, and she is forbidden to watch many of the more popular channels, but somehow Doctor Squish made the cut. She is obsessed with squishy toys, and Gigi happens to love them, so I let her watch this lady. She does this thing, where she will show you a squish toy, critique it, and then cut it open, to see what is inside making it squishy. Gigi and I actually enjoy trying to guess the insides correctly. She also loves making slime. After watching enough of her videos, I was actually open to slime being in our house. We have strict rules about where the slime can be played with, and I limit the amount of slime in the house at any given time, but I have actually had fun making slime with Gigi. I know... Who am I, and where is the old Jules?! 

5. I am having anxiety lately, because we have had a very boring/relaxed Summer. My knee injury has really been a curve ball. I am on bed rest, and I have been in so much pain, that I have really been miserable. Plus, I have had so many doctor appointments. So, it isn't until now, that I am actually going to start doing Summer workbooks with Gigi, and I am so nervous. I am not sure why. I think part of it, is that I have enjoyed our down time somewhat, and that is going to be much less for the rest of Summer, but part of it is that I am scared I am going to really be terrible at teaching her. I tried teaching her to write her name and stuff, before Kindergarten, and I failed. I was worried she would struggle in school, and nope. She did great in school. I was just a terrible teacher. So, now it is time for me to do workbooks with her, and I am nervous. I keep telling myself it will just be like doing homework with her. I hope I am right. If I am wrong, there may be a vent post in the future, about how terrible I am as a teacher, and how great it is that I did not follow that career path. 

6. My Dad's house number was 633. Since he passed away, I frequently look at the clock, and find that it is 6:33 am/pm. It makes a feeling of peace wash over me. I have also run into the number in other random places as well. Maybe it is just one big coincidence, but I am a firm believer that our loved ones can send us messages/signs. So, in my mind, it means he is watching over us. 

7. I went to live with my Dad when I was four. I started having chores immediately. Before I was six, I was doing laundry all by myself. All the steps... Sorting, putting into the washer, putting in the detergent and turning on the washer, removing the clothes from the washer, carrying them outside and hanging them on the clothesline, bringing the clothes in, folding, putting them away. I even did the dishes all by myself, even the knives. Gigi just turned six and she has no real, set in stone chores. I still have the yellow stool I used, to be able to put the clothes into, and take the clothes out of the washing machine. So, I am going to give Gigi official chores. I am still working on what chores to give her. I know one of them won't be doing the laundry all by herself, but I do think she can help fold. I also think she should be capable of putting her clothes into her own drawers. She helps out already, probably not as much as she should (especially in regards to picking up her own toys), but I think it is time to make it more official. There is this small part of me, that cannot wait to figure out a chore to give her, where she will need to use the yellow stool. My yellow stool. I am thinking maybe she can clean the table off after meals, and since we have a taller than normal table, the stool may just be the best way for her to reach the entire table surface. I really want to do a magnetic chore chart, even if it is just a piece of paper, we hang on the fridge with magnets. So, I am going to make a post on my Facebook page some time this week, about chores and chore charts. If you have some great advice or a great system, please chime in, when you see my post. Yes, I know it is ridiculous that she is six and doesn't have official chores yet. She has just always been a really good helper, that I never did anything official. I just know that with my knee hurt, and the increase in homework that comes with first grade, and just life in general, we will be needing more help from her, and I think doing it in a structured manner is going to be the most successful approach. How old were you when you started chores?

8. I have an irrational fear of a snake crawling up into the toilet, while I am using the restroom. So, I frequently look down into the toilet, while I am going potty. I know it is random and weird, and I have no idea what caused this fear, but I have had it for as long as I can remember. 

9. When I was about eleven years old, I stole a jar of nail polish from Walmart. I do not think I have ever told anyone this. Well, I have never forgiven myself, and I often think about it, and will lecture myself about being an idiot. It was so stupid. I did not even use the polish. My friends and their mom, had brought me to Walmart with them. I was walking around carrying it, and was trying to work up the nerve to ask their mom to buy it for me, and tell her I would pay her back, after I did some extra chores for money. Then they checked out, and I was still holding it, and then I just left with it. I left it in my friend's bedroom, on her dresser. She never said anything about it, and I did see her wearing the color a few weeks later. This is probably one of the hardest things I have had to live with. I have already taught Gigi that we do NOT steal. I plan on continuing to really drive that fact home with her. I don't ever want her to get in trouble, or to feel guilty for the rest of her life. 

10. I love myself, exactly as I am, flaws and all. However, I hate that I am fat. I hate it so much that I often lecture myself in my head about being fat. I say some pretty nasty things to myself. I have never understood how I can love myself so very much, and hate myself so much, at the same time. It is such a weird thing. I think most people do not even realize how much I hate myself for being fat, because I am so confident in myself, and accept and love myself. So, I think it is just another odd coincidence about myself. Lately, it has definitely gotten worse. I worry that I will end up causing Gigi to either be fat or to be obsessed with never getting fat. I just pray that I can teach her, and guide her, into having a confident and healthy self esteem. I want her to genuinely love herself completely, and I want her to be healthy. It is one of my biggest concerns and stresses as a mom. 

Okay. That is enough about me for now. Do not forget to go check out the rest of this month's Blog with Friends posts, and see how each blogger turned "Tell Your Story" into a post!! I am so excited to read them myself. I have been excited ever since this topic was chosen. I will meet you there, I just need to grab a quick refill. I am drinking "Not a Morning Person" from Dark Side Roasters, and I am loving it. I am currently using S'mores creamer, and I give it three stars. It isn't too sweet, so I like that, but it does not really taste like S'mores. Just tastes like I put a couple of spoons of sugar in my coffee, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, since it allows me to really savor the yummy flavor of my DSR coffee.

Find the other Blog with Friend's Posts here:

Karen of Baking In A Tornado

Melissa of My Heartfelt Sentiments

Dawn of Spatulas On Parade

Lydia of Cluttered Genius

Tamara of Part-time working hockey Mom

Friday, July 5, 2019

Childhood Artifacts #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to July's Secret Subject Swap. This is a regularly monthly post, where we each subject blog topics, to be assigned to a participating blogger, and receive our own blog topic, that was submitted by a fellow blogger. Nobody knows who will receive their submitted topic, or which topic they will receive. Each blogger gets to take their assigned secret subject in any direction they wish. 

My July “Secret Subject” is:
Do you still have or collect things from your childhood that made you happy? Why or why not? And what do you have? What feelings are associated with these things?

It was submitted by: (Thank you, Jenniy)

I am a very sentimental person. I am not sure why. I think I may get it from my Dad, but I am not entirely sure. That being said, I do not have much from my younger years, but the few items I do have, mean so very much to me. I would have more, but Chad has a terrible knack for destroying things that mean most to me. I cannot even sugar coat that. It is the truth, and it has been one of the biggest disputes between us. In 2009, he destroyed some of the only photos I had from my childhood and relatives, and I still don't think he understands how devastating that was. 

I have a box of angels, that I have collected over the years, that mean so much to me, and he lost it. He swears the box is in the attic, yet he can never produce the box. If it is still around, it is very meaningful. I also have an angel music box, a clay pot, and various items from my dad. They all mean so much.

I often buy Gigi things from my childhood, which are revamped, so she can enjoy them. She has my original Cabbage Patch baby, and my glowworm, and my E.T. doll. I also have a jean jacket from my Daddy, which I sleep with. I lost most pictures, during a fire, so the few I have, are cherished. I am just a sentimental schmuck, with a hard outer shell. I have my dad's ashes, and those may be my dearest belonging currently. I will one day bring him home. If I am unable to do so, Chad will bring us both home to North Carolina, and we will rest peacefully. 

If I had to choose a top three , of my sentimental possessions, I would not have to think too long. My Dad's cherry red SG Gibson, my dad's ashes, tapes of my dad playing the guitar and singing. I guess I really am a Daddy's girl at heart.

Are you a sentimental person? Do you have prized possessions?

Don't forget to check out these other July Secret Subject Swap posts.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Pass the tissues #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is June’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
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Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Karen of Bookworm in the Kitchen.
1. Achoo! 

2. It was in that moment, she realized she should never say "anything". Limits are necessary. 

3. Have kids, they said. It will be fun, they said. 

4. I did not sign up for this. 

5. Worst sinus infection ever. 
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:

Simple and Sweet #UseYourWords

Welcome to August's Use Your Words writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phr...